There’s no shortage of information out there on the qualities you will need to earn success as an entrepreneur, and by extension as a fempreneur. It’s always beneficial to have advice to encourage you, and to know which elements you need to work on to drive success, but it shouldn’t be ignored that there is, in return, a comparable lack of worthwhile information on the things to avoid. If you want your business efforts to be met by success, it is important to recognize the importance of balance, and it’s therefore essential to know the pitfalls to look out for. So, without further ado, let’s look at the don’ts of entrepreneurship.
Fear of Criticism
If you are putting yourself in an arena with such a clear demarcation of success and failure, you will inevitably be in a position where you are open to criticism. It’s easy to be worried about what critics say – nobody likes being hauled over the coals for a decision they’ve made. Even if it is constructive, criticism can hurt. And that’s why so many people become risk-averse and unwilling to make big decisions – they fear the fallout from those decisions. You should be reluctant to make mistakes, but not because of what people might say. A lot of criticism is unfounded and uninformed, so don’t get hung up on it – let the numbers do the talking.
Many fempreneurs develop tunnel vision when they’re trying to make their business happen. You’ll hear stories of people who sleep in the office most nights, live off ready meals eaten in front of a computer. Some even work through illness and injury, and while you hear about the success stories, the many failures that result from pushing oneself too hard are less publicized. If you’re hurt in a car crash, your first call after the emergency room should be to a personal injury law firm to ensure you’re compensated financially. It should not be to plan more work and meetings, because you need time to recover.
Market research is an essential part of launching a new business. When you’re planning a launch, you need to have confidence that the potential target market is interested in what you’re selling. So you need to run surveys, test the water on social media, and hold focus groups to find out what you could be doing better. Market research is, essentially, a listening exercise, and if you only listen to the views which reinforce your existing prejudices, you’ll end up with an imperfect product or service. So, as hard as it is, listen to the prevailing messages coming through from your research – it’s your best pre-market chance to improve.
Trying to Do It All on a Shoestring Budget
Nobody wants to saddle themselves with a lot of business debt – especially on their first attempt at a startup. So it is sensible to take a modest approach to spending, but as with everything else in business this can go too far. If you are constantly looking for ways to spend less before your business is even off the ground, you’re sure to negatively impact the quality of your product. Be cautious, but within reason – if you never make a profit because your quality was affected, you’ll still have debt to pay back anyway.